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DIY Home Maintenance: 5 Ways to Save Big on Home Repair

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DIY Home Maintenance | Save Big on Home Repair | Big DIY Savings | Save on Home Improvements | Cheap Repair Ideas | DIY Money Saving Ideas

This is a guest post by Angela of Angela Says: Tips for a Cleaner Home

Too many times have I called a repairman out to fix something in my house and found out it was something really dumb, that I could have fixed myself causing the problem. For example, the dishwasher was leaking and not cleaning the dishes very well. The repairman looked at it for ten seconds, pointed at the top spray arm, and then said, “See this hose connected to the spray arm? It needs to be in the little holder ring.” Snapped the hose back into place then charged me $65 for fixing my dishwasher. That fix was totally worth the $65… not. I could have saved myself 65 bucks just by looking for something out of place.

I’ve wised up a little bit since then and I’ll share few home fixes you can DIY so you don’t have to replace an appliance, house, or car.

Unclog the washer drain filter

Problem: Your front loader washer won’t drain properly and it kind of smells too. You didn’t know your washer had a drain filter.

Random Fact: The washer eats the socks, not the dryer.

Fix it: Clean out the washer drain filter one to two times a year. If you have a Whirlpool Duet like me, this should fix your F21 code and help with any lingering mold smells. *Warning* If you have never ever cleaned out your filter, it may smell like something died. Now don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Various steps of unclogging a washer drain filter.

  1. (Unplug washer) Remove screws holding front panel
  2. Place towel/dish under drain
  3. Unscrew drain and clean filter
  4. Check drain for debris
  5. Put back together

Clean out the dryer vent

Problem: Your clothes take forever to dry even though the dryer gets hot. You don’t remember the last time you cleaned out the dryer vent and the lint trap isn’t cleaned after every use.

Unfortunate Fact: Dryer lint makes great kindling.

Fix it: Vacuum out those dust bunnies from your dryer vent every year and while you’re at it, swap the plastic or foil duct to a metal semi-rigid or rigid one. The metal ducts have fewer spaces for lint to build up and are not flammable.

Cleaning out a dryer vent filled with lint.

  1. Unplug dryer/turn off gas- Remove lint screen
  2. Unscrew lint cage and vacuum
  3. Pull dryer out and detach hose
  4. Vacuum out hose and connecting ducts
  5. Reattach everything

Remove headlight haze

Problem: Your car’s age is showing in the yellowed headlights. Driving at night is not the funnest thing because haze on the headlights is pretty bad.

Lazy Fact: The fix takes less than five minutes and two ingredients.

Fix it: Don’t use those crazy expensive kits or those kits from the infomercials. Use some baking soda and water to buff away the nasty haze. Do this whenever the haze build up is bad.

Removing dust buildup from a car's headlights with a rag.

  1. Make a paste of water and baking soda
  2. Apply to headlights
  3. Buff with damp cloth
  4. Rinse remaining baking soda off with water

Dust the refrigerator coils

Problem: Your milk is not as cold as it should be and the butter is melting.

Helpful Fact: The coils are on the bottom or back of the refrigerator.

Fix it: As part of your Spring Cleaning, vacuum up the dirt and dust from underneath your refrigerator.

Dusting a kitchen's refrigerator coils.

  1. Turn fridge off
  2. Remove front grill
  3. Brush and vacuum coils
  4. Brush and repeat as necessary

Clean your bagless vacuum

Problem: Your vacuum no longer sucks, the clear canister is no longer clear, and there’s enough hair on the brush to create a small creature.

Fun Fact: There’s a fill line on the canister so you “should” know when to empty it.

Fix it: Clean out your vacuum every other month or so based off usage. You’ll be sucking dirt and pet hair in no time.

Cleaning out a bagless vacuum.

  1. Remove and empty canister
  2. Take canister apart and rinse
  3. Remove filter and rinse as needed or dust as needed (some
    filters are washable others are not; check your manual)
  4. Check hoses for blockage
  5. Take a seam ripper and remove hair/string from the roller
  6. Wipe vacuum clean as desired
  7. Wait 24 hours for vacuum parts to thoroughly dry before putting
    it back together

On the conservative end, doing these home maintenance projects will probably save you a few hundred dollars. Plus, you’ll feel accomplished that you didn’t have to pay someone or buy a new one. Thanks to Ruth for letting me guest post, and happy cleaning!


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Angela is a full-time mom, wife, and carpet cleaning business owner. She’s picked up lots of great cleaning tips over the years and loves learning new ones, all of which she shares on her cleaning blog Angela Says. When she’s not cleaning or writing, she loves spending time with her family, attempting to sew and eating Chinese food.

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Do you do your own home maintenance? What other things do you fix yourself? Share your tips!


  1. June 11 at 09:51AM

    Thanks again for letting me guest post Ruth, you are such a doll!

    • Ruth Soukup
      June 12 at 07:15AM

      You are very welcome Angela! Thanks for the wonderful (and very helpful) post!

  2. Aimilee
    June 11 at 10:53AM

    These are great tips. I can’t say I’ve ever done ANY of these things. Well, except the vacuum one! Looks like I’ve got my work cut out for me!

  3. June 11 at 01:06PM

    I am so incredibly grateful that I married a man who knows how to do most home repairs. In four years of owning our home we have only had someone out to repair our boiler and Roto Rooter when our sewer backed up.

    • Ruth Soukup
      June 12 at 07:14AM

      I am very grateful for that same thing! 🙂

  4. Kelly
    June 11 at 01:43PM

    Thanks for the tips. I cleaned out my washer drain filter after seeing it on your blog a couple weeks ago. I expected it to be a lot worse than it was. I guess that’s a good thing.

  5. June 11 at 09:20PM

    Thanks for the great tips! I’m a fairly new home owner and always looking for tips and tricks to get the house fixed up and keep it clean!

  6. June 12 at 04:17AM

    Great guest post Angela! Some really useful tips here! I’ll be definitely checking out the state of my refrigerator coil and washer drain filter when I get home tonight!

  7. Margo McCann
    June 19 at 08:49AM

    Home repairs can be so difficult and my home on the beach has needed a lot of them over the years. I normally call in an expert to help mend my disaster repair. But tips like these are great for when I am ready to try to do it myself!

  8. Mike Loshe
    June 19 at 02:52PM

    Great article Ruth! There are definitely many simple home repairs that almost any individual can do. However, some repairs need to be left to the professionals. About two years ago I was having problems with my furnace
    , so I tried my hand at fixing it. Wrong choice. I ended up breaking the furnace completely and having to replace it. So moral of the story is, leave some repairs to the experts!

  9. Andy
    June 26 at 08:48AM

    Canister vacuum cleaners should be emptied after every use. This gets rid of the mites & fleas you didn’t know about.

  10. August 7 at 05:56AM

    This is really good for us to use self service to get rid of minor problem. These tips given by you are really appreciable. We can get rid of many common problems by just using these tips.

  11. February 25 at 01:57PM

    I too have the Whirlpool Duet w&d. I have been trying to find out how to get rid of the smell. We’ve never cleaned it so that’s for the warning! Thanks so much to both Angela and Ruth.

  12. April 28 at 10:51PM

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  13. June 3 at 05:35PM

    Hi there, just wanted to mention, I enjoyed this article.
    It was practical. Keep on posting!

  14. December 29 at 12:08AM

    I have been reading your blog recently and your posts have been very useful and practical. Thanks! Looking forward to your future posts. Wishing you all the best for 2015

  15. February 22 at 02:42PM

    The headlight haze removal idea is brilliant! Will have to try that tonight.

  16. March 2 at 08:17PM

    This is some really good information about appliance repair. I liked that you explained that you can get a much of lint out of a dryer. It is good to know that it would be smart to have a professional help with appliance repair.

  17. December 14 at 12:27AM

    This is some really good information about how to keep the appliances in my home working well. It is good to know that I should vacuum off the coils. That is great for me to know because I don’t feel like having to replace my refrigerator.

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